30 Under 30: Anabel Ugalde-Huebe
Dow Chemical Co.
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Engineering runs in the family of Anabel Ugalde-Huebe, with her sister being a manufacturing engineer and her father an architectural engineer. A native of Mexico City, Anabel moved with her parents to south Texas at age 10, and after acclimating to a new school and an unfamiliar language, Anabel excelled in her studies, especially in math and the sciences.
“Math and science kind of ran in the family. It was almost automatic,” Anabel said. “I love painting, and in all my high school years I spent at least an hour a day in an art room.”
Two weeks after graduating from Texas A&M University-Kingsville with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering, Anabel was hired by the Dow Chemical Co. as a Six Sigma Black Belt Engineer for Dow’s Seadrift, TX, ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol manufacturing plant. Now Lead Production Engineer, Anabel’s work involves optimization and implementation of manufacturing process operations for the production of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol.
Her skill and diligence in her work has impressed Joseph Smith, production leader and Anabel’s supervisor, who nominated her for 30 Under 30. In his nomination, Smith wrote that “Anabel exemplifies the perfect production engineer that we all want for our facilities. The word that comes to mind is ‘balanced.’ She is balanced more so than any production engineer I have worked with in that she displays great skill and aptitude in technology and engineering but is able to very effectively collaborate across all levels of the company and also very actively supports the community as an ambassador of Dow Chemical.
“She enjoys plant technology and uses what she learns along with core engineering skills to improve training and operating discipline in addition to making dramatic improvement to plant efficiency,” Smith said. “She has her Six Sigma Black Belt Certification and recently completed a project that delivered on its goal ... The result is a validation of her skills as leading a cross-functional team of plant engineers, design engineers, plant operators, operations specialists, and maintenance specialists.”
Anabel is passionate about helping out in the community and is an active volunteer in community activities such as Habitat for Humanity, Smith noted, and also at local events such as “You Be the Chemist Challenge” at local area schools, where she engages students in understanding of chemical discoveries and chemical safety awareness.
“She is also active in Dow networks such as WIN (Women’s Innovation Network), NPN (New Professionals Network), HLN (Hispanic Latin Network), and SPEN (Seadrift Production Engineer Network),” Smith added. “She also currently leads the University relation team and led the development of strategy that focuses on attracting talent to the Seadrift, Texas site. Her efforts with these teams and networks bring great value to Dow in terms of diversity to the site and in attracting and even more importantly, retaining talented new professionals. I feel that Anabel epitomizes the ‘example’ engineer we all would like to have working in our block. To also consider that she is under 30, attests to the talent present and the great potential for the future.” ME